Mind-probing contemporary music, improvisation, dance, and spoken word.
Artists listed alphabetically by first name.
While Andie Nixon's music is grounded by sparse guitar, it's his haunting voice that is so compelling. Imagine the more challenging moments from Radiohead's Kid A realized as a weird folk record. -- James Fahy Saturday, May 18, 12:30 p.m.
Works by this Birmingham Art Music Alliance guest composer include "Sachamama for Flute and Electronics," and "Sauger for Trombone and Electronics." LeBaron has been recognized for her work in developing extended techniques and electronic enhancements for the harp. She will be performing her work for harp and electronics, "I am an American . . . My Government Will Reward You." Saturday, May 18, 6 p.m.
Bad Calm Zero
The soundscape duo of Scott Bazar and Jeff McLeod uses guitars and a floor full of generating/modifying devices to conjure up a dark cloud of music. Saturday, May 18, 4 p.m.
Donnie Ashworth (flute), Christy Banks (clarinet), and Rusty Banks (guitar) perform newly composed and improv pieces that fuse bluegrass and rock with contemporary art music techniques and mediums. Saturday, May 18, 3 p.m.
Birmingham Art Music Alliance
A group that features new works by local artists. BAMA also holds monthly concerts at venues ranging from the University of Montevallo to the Birmingham Unitarian Church. This year's composers include Robert Trane Adams, Joe L. Alexander, Kurt Carpenter, Todd Gabriel, Mike McFerron, Rick Nance, Rebecca Remley, Louie Schultz, and Kathryn Venable. -- J.F. Sunday, May 19, 3:30 p.m.
Birmingham-Southern College New Music Ensemble
Under the direction of Craig Hultgren, the group will present minimalist works, improvisations, and brand new compositions by its members. The program features the two minimalist masterpieces, "In C" by Terry Riley and "Clapping Music" by Steve Reich. The ensemble will also venture into group improvisation with Pauline Oliveros' "Witness." Members of the ensemble are Kathryn Smith (piano), Robert Simpson (trombone), Reginald Owens (synthesizer), Jessica Hillman (alto saxophone and piano), Joshua South (baritone), and Tiffany Newborn (soprano). Sunday, May 19, 12:30 p.m.
A lifetime devotee of the power of words, Charles Tortorici is one of the pioneers of the local poetry scene that first appeared in the late 1980s. Whether worshipping dirt or speculating that one day real estate developers will be a deer's next meal, Tortorici's songs and poems draw intense reactions from young and old alike. Expect a little singing, a little recitation, and a lot of old-time religion. -- Ed Reynolds
Sunday, May 19, 12 p.m.
Craig Hultgren/video cello
Craig Hultgren is an amazingly talented local cellist. Not only is he held in high regard in classical music circles, but he has been instrumental in developing Birmingham's experimental music scene. Hultgren's improvisations will accompany two films -- each with its own soundtrack . . . but not at the same time. Playing acoustic and electric cellos, Hultgren is a wonderful performer who is well worth your attention. -- J.F.
Saturday, May 18, 4:30 p.m.
A three-piece consisting of guitar, vibraphone, and bass clarinet, December create improvisations that vacillate between quiet beauty and piercing drone. While the group plays with restraint, the music has a tendency to mesh together. Reminiscent of LaMonte Young or Brian Eno if he wrote Music For Airports for today's security-heavy climate. -- J.F.
Saturday, May 18, 1:30 p.m.
Birmingham artist Jill Johnson and artist-musician SI Reasoning mix "2-D craft" with improvisational dance, indigenous drumming, impromptu dance, and poetry. Performing are cellist Craig Hultgren; drummers Michael James and Mike "Flash" Mills; dancers Brook Lancaster, Katie Yeary, Deborah Mauldin, and Kristin Naccari; and poet Charles Tortorici. This is a work whose purpose is to unite "different living energies within the art world," and I just don't know if that's allowed. -- J.F.
Saturday, May 18, 5:30 p.m.
I Dream a Mama -- Anne Bailey
Through a series of quilted images and musings, "I Dream a Mama" is a verbal contemplation of growing into maturity. Bailey, a noted storyteller, poet, and visual and book artist, brings alive a variety of smells, sounds, and tastes.
Sunday, May 19, 1:30 p.m.
The Intoxication Tree
The Intoxication Tree covers 23 years of personal history in a work somewhat like stand-up with a self-deprecating comedic tone.
Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m.
A collaboration of LaDonna Smith and Anne LeBaron, with Sister Alice Faye Love in an excursive happening of musical improvisation and theater such as freely improvised forays with harp, viola, and found object percussion, plastic tubing, and musical hats.
Sunday, May 19, 2:30 p.m.
Seaberg Acrobatic Poetry
Kurt Carpenter Ronnog, 69, and Stevens Seaberg, 71, perform living sculpture combined with Ronnog's original poetry and occasional live music (recorders, saxophone, or flamenco guitar). Their verbal and visual topics span everything from life and death to politics, humor, social issues, relations between generations, sexes, and financial disparities.
Saturday, May 18, 2 p.m.
Ann Law performs a commissioned dance score by pioneer postmodern choreographer and filmmaker Elaine Summers. Law is Director of Barking Legs Theater, Chattanooga's acclaimed venue for new and innovative work in the performing arts.
Saturday, May 18, 12 p.m.
This Pensacola-based tuba/piano duo performs a wide and eclectic variety of music ranging from baroque to free improvisation. It features Tim Jackson (tuba) and Michael Coleman (piano/composer).
Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m.
Vision Quest Blues
Leisha Hultgren and Laura Secord with blues guitarist Todd Johnson present an intertwining of poems on the cycle of "sensuality, light, love, loss, and transformation, with a rocking blend of pathos and humor."
Sunday, May 19, 5 p.m. &
12:00 p.m. Solitary Geography
12:30 p.m. Andie Nixon
1:00 p.m. The Intoxication Tree
1:30 p.m. December
2:00 p.m. Seaberg Acrobatic Poetry
3:00 p.m. Bent Indigenous
4:00 p.m. Bad Calm Zero
4:30 p.m. Craig Hultgren/video-cello
5:30 p.m. Ghost Warrior
6:00 p.m. Anne LeBaron